Why do You Need to Cool Down?
Cooling down has long been thought to reduce the muscle soreness you might get after a hard workout. Current research suggests that it isn’t entirely correct and that it is the warm up that prevents muscle soreness.
Cooling down is, however, really important for your body for a few other reasons.
Firstly, it helps get rid of lactic acid as your circulation continues to keep the blood flowing into your muscles and removing waste products.
Secondly, it reduces pooling of blood in the parts of your body you have just been pushing hard. This will stop you from getting dizzy or fainting. For example, if you go flat out on your bike and then get off quickly that can make you dizzy.
Finally, it allows your heart to return to its resting rate.
Gradually reducing the intensity of what you are doing for 10 minutes is usually enough, particularly if you are walking, cycling, or swimming.
For other activities you may want to stop and walk or jog slowly till you can feel that your heart rate is back to normal or you have stopped puffing.
I always find my cooling down period a really good psychological break between my exercise and what might be in store for me for the rest of the day.
It is also good to review and bask in the gloriousness of what you have just done or achieved.
Do you cool down after a workout? Let us know in the comments below!